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Breast cancer is a cancer that forms in the cells of the breasts. This genetic disease can occur in both men and women, but it's far more common in women. The cancerous cells spread through the breast to lymph nodes or to other parts of the body. These cells start dividing rapidly and continue to accumulate, forming a lump or mass.


    There are several factors that cause breast cancer. Some cannot be avoided, like family history, and some lifestyle related.

  • Age - The risk for developing breast cancer increases with age. Most invasive breast cancers are found in women over age 55.
  • Drinking alcohol - Drinking excessive amounts of alcohol raises the risk.
  • Late Pregnancy - Women who have their first child after 35 years of age have an increased risk of Breast Cancer.
  • Inherited risk - If a close female relative has had breast cancer, there’s an increased risk for developing it. This includes mother, grandmother, sister, or daughter.
  • Late menopause start - Women who do not start menopause until after age 55 are more likely to develop breast cancer.
  • Never being pregnant - Women who never became pregnant or never carried a pregnancy to full-term are more likely to develop breast cancer.
  • Previous breast cancer - If anyone has previously been diagnosed with breast cancer, there’s an increased risk of developing cancer in the other breast.
  • • Mutation in BRCA genes - Individuals who inherit mutations in these genes are at an increased risk of developing breast cancer and ovarian cancer compared with the general population


    There are various type of breast cancer and most of them share common symptoms. A few of them being:

    • A breast lump or tissue thickening that feels different than surrounding tissue and has developed recently
    • Breast pain
    • Red, pitted skin over your entire breast
    • Swelling in all or part of your breast
    • A nipple discharge other than breast milk
    • Bloody discharge from your nipple
    • Peeling, scaling or flaking of skin on your nipple or breast
    • A sudden, unexplained change in the shape or size of your breast
    • Inverted nipple
    • Changes to the appearance of the skin on your breasts
    • A lump or swelling under your arm

#CheckThemOut Yourself: A Breast Self-Exam Guide

Breast cancer can’t be prevented, but you can take three important steps to help detect it earlier. 3 Steps to Early Detection can increase your chance of finding breast cancer before it spreads.

Once A Month

Adult women of all ages are encouraged to perform breast self-exams at least once a month.

How Should A Breast Self-Exam Be Performed?

In the Shower

Using the pads of your fingers and move them around your entire breast in a circular pattern. Move from the outside to the center, checking the entire breast and armpit area. Check both breasts each month for lumps, thickening, or hardened knots. In case of any changes, get the lumps evaluated by your healthcare provider.

In Front of a Mirror

Visually inspect your breasts with your arms at your sides. Next, raise your arms high overhead.

Look for any changes in the contour, any swelling, or dimpling of the skin, or changes in the nipples. Next, rest your palms on your hips and press firmly to flex your chest muscles. Left and right breasts will not exactly match, but a few do. So look for any dimpling, puckering, or changes, particularly on one side.

Lying Down

When lying down, the breast tissue spreads out evenly along the chest wall. Place a pillow under your right shoulder and put your right arm behind your head. Using your left hand, move the pads of your fingers gently around your right breast in a small circular motion, covering the entire breast area and armpit.

Use light, medium, and firm pressure. Squeeze the nipple; check for discharge and lumps. Repeat these steps for your left breast as well.

What is a BRCA gene test?

A blood test that uses DNA analysis to identify harmful changes or mutations in either one of the two breast cancer susceptibility genes — BRCA1 and BRCA2

Genes are parts of DNA passed down from your biological parents and are also responsible for certain health conditions. BRCA1 and BRCA2 are genes that protect cells by making proteins that help prevent tumors from forming. Hence these genes are also called tumour suppressor genes.

Individuals who inherit mutations in these genes are at an increased risk of developing breast cancer and ovarian cancer compared with the general population.

Not everyone who inherits a BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation gets cancer. Other factors, including lifestyle and environment, can affect your cancer risk.

Who should consider BRCA gene testing?

You might be at increased risk of having an inherited gene mutation if you have:

  • A personal history of breast cancer diagnosed before age 45
  • A personal history of breast cancer diagnosed before age 50 and second primary breast cancer, one or more relatives with breast cancer, or an unknown or limited family medical history
  • A personal history of triple-negative breast cancer diagnosed at age 60 or younger
  • A personal history of two or more types of cancer
  • A personal history of ovarian cancer
  • A relative already diagnosed with a BRCA mutation
  • A personal history of breast cancer and Ashkenazi (Eastern European) Jewish ancestry
  • A personal history of prostate cancer or pancreatic cancer with two or more relatives with BRCA-associated cancers
  • A history of breast cancer at a young age in two or more blood relatives, such as your parents, siblings, or children

How to interpret the BRCA test results?

  • A positive result means a mutation in BRCA1 or BRCA2 was found. These mutations put you at a higher risk of getting cancer. But not everyone with the mutation gets cancer. A positive mutation also indicates further genetic screening of first-degree family members. Follow-up care after a positive test result might include taking specific measures to modify the type and frequency of screening for cancer and to consider procedures and medications designed to reduce your cancer risk. What you choose to do depends on many factors, including your age, medical history, prior treatments, past surgeries, and personal preferences.
  • A negative result signifies no BRCA gene mutation was found, but it doesn't mean you won't ever get cancer.
  • An uncertain result means some kind of BRCA gene mutation was found, but it may or may not be linked with increased cancer risk. You may need more tests and/or monitoring for further diagnosis.

#CheckThemOut: Methods of prevention of breast cancer

  • Self-Examination – It is important to undertake self-inspection of your breasts to ensure well-being of the organs.
  • Regular Exercise - Being active and doing routine exercises reduce the chances of breast cancer.
  • Maintain a Healthy Weight - Being obese increases the risk of developing breast cancer. Reducing calorie intake can reduce the chances of getting the same.
  • Choose a Healthy Diet - Diet also influences the risk of developing breast cancer. Following a healthy and a low fat diet helps reduce chances of breast cancer.

#CheckThemOut: Breast Cancer profiles & screenings

BRCA Tests

BRCA1 & 2 genetic test examines your DNA code for the BRCA 1 and 2 genes to find alterations which are likely to increase the risk of Breast Cancer.

Trucut Biopsy

Tru-Cut biopsy (TCB) is used in the diagnosis of breast lesions. The use of TCB also lessens the propensity of complicated surgical procedures and minimizes patient stress.


Molecular in vitro diagnostic test for the quantitative detection of the mRNA expression of ERBB2, ESR1, PGR and MKI67 in breast cancer tissue Know More

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